The Best Sweet And Sour Pork Recipe (A Tangy Slow-Cooked Delight)

Are you looking to tantalize your taste buds and conquer the world of flavors? (Well, you’re in for an epic treat!)

Because today, I’m bubbling with excitement to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite family meal prep recipes: the legendary “Sweet and Sour Pork.”

Close your eyes and let this thought sink in… succulent pork mingling with the most colorful and delightful gang – bell peppers and juicy pineapple.

All wrapped up in a mouthwatering dance of sweet and tangy sauce. (Oh, trust me, it’s a party in your mouth that you won’t want to miss!)

Now, here’s the kicker – I’m taking this classic to a whole new level of convenience.

How? With the kitchen superstar, the slow cooker! Yes, that’s right, I’m turning up the heat on taste and turning down the effort in the kitchen. 

No matter if you’re a seasoned pro or a meal prep newbie, this recipe is your ticket to slow-cooked perfection.

Together, let’s embark on a journey to create not just a tantalizing dish but an unforgettable experience.

So, grab your aprons, unleash your inner chef, and let’s cook up a storm that’ll have everyone begging for seconds.

Get ready for an aroma that’ll make your neighbors knock on your door, wondering what magic you’re conjuring in the kitchen.

And who knows, you might just become the go-to chef in your circle – (move over, Gordon Ramsay)!

Let’s get cooking and make some delicious memories together!

What province is sweet and sour pork from?

A map where Guangdong and Hongkong are illustrated in it

Let’s take a flavorful trip back in time to the culinary wonderland of the Cantonese where the story of sweet and sour pork masterpiece began.

Bustling ports, exotic trade, and a burst of creativity in the kitchens of Guangdong and Hong Kong.

Oh, how those Cantonese folks knew how to stir up something truly extraordinary!

(Imagine the hustle and bustle in those vibrant kitchens – aprons swaying and spatulas dancing!)

You see, Guangdong province was the place to be for food fanatics like me, and no wonder!

With its booming trade connections, all sorts of goodies from foreign lands found their way onto the local menus.

Tomatoes, pineapples, and bell peppers were like the stars of the show – exotic ingredients mingling with Cantonese magic. (talk about a flavor fusion party!)

And here’s where the real culinary alchemy began.

The ingenious Cantonese cooks decided to embrace the yin and yang of taste, creating a symphony of sweet and sour.

The result? The iconic sweet and sour pork. (A food that makes you want to shimmy and shake with its flavors – who needs a dance floor?)

This lip-smacking pork creation spread like wildfire! People couldn’t resist the allure of the tangy, sweet dance of flavors.

It wasn’t just a local sensation; it voyaged across borders and oceans, winning hearts and tummies worldwide.

Today, as you savor each bite of this delightful dish, pay tribute to the legacy of Chinese culinary artistry.

Sweet and sour pork is more than just a recipe; it’s a testament to the power of food to bring people together across continents.

Sweet And Sour Pork

Recipe by TealnotesCourse: MainCuisine: CantoneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time








  • 1.5 lbs (700g) pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)

  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

  • Steamed rice, for serving


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, minced garlic, and cornstarch. Toss in the pork pieces and mix them until they are thoroughly coated.
  • Allow the pork to marinate for at least 15 minutes (optional, for enhanced flavor).
  • In a separate bowl, prepare the sweet and sour sauce by mixing ketchup, rice vinegar, and brown sugar until well combined.
  • In a skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sear the marinated pork until browned on all sides, then transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
  • Add the sliced bell peppers, pineapple chunks, and onion wedges to the slow cooker, arranging them around the pork.
  • Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the pork and vegetables in the slow cooker, ensuring everything is evenly coated.
  • Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, until the pork is tender and fully cooked.
  • Once the cooking time is complete, check the sauce for desired sweetness and tanginess. Adjust with additional sugar or vinegar if needed.
  • Serve the delicious sweet and sour pork over steamed rice.

    Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions for an extra touch of flavor and color, if desired.

Enjoy this mouthwatering slow cooker pork recipe. A dish that perfectly balances the sweet and tangy flavors that will undoubtedly become a family favorite. 

Optimal Storing and Reheating Tips For your Sweet and Sour Pork

Okay, folks, the feast is over, and you’re left with some mouthwatering sweet and sour pork leftovers (that’s a surprise)

But fear not, because I’ve got your back with some handy meal prep ideas to keep those flavors dancing till the last bite!

Proven Tips On how to Store Leftover Sweet and Sour Pork

  • Let it Cool Down: Before you stash those leftovers away, let them cool down to room temperature.

    You will not want any unwanted moisture ruining the party! 

  • Use a Container: Transfer that porky goodness and its saucy sidekick into clean, airtight containers or resealable bags. (no lingering odors allowed)

  • Label them: Show some love to your containers and label them with the date and contents.

    Because later on, you don’t want to play a guessing game with your fridge, right? 

  • Fridge or freeze: Pop those containers in the fridge and plan to finish them off within 3-4 days.

    If you want to save them for longer, meal prep for freezing is what you need.

    Just freeze them for up to 3 months. Just remember, thawed pork might be a little different in texture.

Properly Reheat Your Sweet and Sour Pork

A hand tossing the sweet and sour pork inside the wok
  • Don’t use the Microwave: To keep that pork feeling fab, avoid the microwave and use a non-stick skillet or wok on the stovetop.

    (It’s all about pampering that pork properly!)

  • Heat Up: Heat a tiny bit of oil in a meal prep essential like a skillet or wok over medium heat. (You know, a little sizzle sizzle!)

    Then throw the leftover sweet and sour pork (plus any sauce it brought along) into the skillet.

    And heat the pork for a few minutes until it’s all heated through and the sauce is happily bubbling away. 

  • Keep it saucy: If things are looking dry, add a splash of water or extra sauce to keep that pork perfectly juicy. 

There you have it, my fellow foodies!

With these storing and reheating tips, you’ll be enjoying the sweet and tangy wonders of your sweet and sour pork even on busy days. 

As you reach the end of this culinary journey exploring the world of sweet and sour pork.

I can’t help but marvel at the delightful flavors and memories this dish has brought to your tables.

From the tender and succulent pork to the vibrant bell peppers and juicy pineapple.

Each bite of this timeless classic is a symphony of sweet and tangy notes that leave a lasting impression.

Through this recipe, I’ve uncovered the origins of sweet and sour pork. Tracing its roots to the Canton region in China.

Where culinary ingenuity and trade with foreign lands introduced a medley of flavors that continue to captivate palates worldwide.

The slow cooker has proven to be a kitchen marvel, elevating this beloved pork dish to new heights of convenience and taste.

As you savor the rich cultural heritage behind sweet and sour pork.

You’ve also learned the art of storing and reheating the dish to preserve its deliciousness for future enjoyment.

Properly handling the leftovers ensures that the flavors remain intact, allowing you to relish this delightful creation once more.

I hope this culinary adventure has sparked a newfound appreciation for the art of slow cooking and the flavors that connect everyone across borders and cultures.

Whether you’re preparing this dish for your family or friends or just indulging solo in a moment of culinary indulgence.

May each bite of sweet and sour pork be a reminder of the joy and warmth that food brings into our lives.

So, as you embark on your own culinary explorations, may you continue to savor the delicious moments and create lasting memories around the table.

Remember, the joy of cooking lies not only in the ingredients and techniques but in the love and passion you infuse into each dish you create.

Thank you for joining me on this sweet and tangy journey. Until we meet again, happy cooking and bon appétit!

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What is Chinese sweet and sour pork called?

Chinese sweet and sour pork is commonly known as “Gú lóuh yuhk” (咕噜肉) in Cantonese.

This beloved dish holds a special place in Cantonese cuisine and is widely recognized as one of the most popular Chinese dishes worldwide.

What goes best with this dish?

Sweet and sour pork pairs wonderfully with steamed white rice, providing a perfect balance to the vibrant flavors of the dish.

For a more wholesome meal, you can also serve it with cooked quinoa or noodles.

Additionally, a side of stir-fried vegetables or a fresh green salad adds a delightful touch to complement the flavors.

Can I replace the pork with other proteins?

Absolutely! While pork is traditionally used in sweet and sour pork, you can easily substitute it with other proteins to suit your dietary preferences or culinary adventure.

Try using chicken, shrimp, tofu, or even a medley of vegetables for a delicious vegetarian version.

The sweet and tangy sauce adapts well to various proteins, allowing you to create delightful variations that cater to your taste.

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